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Dr. Moser Advises New York Magazine on Chocolate Milk Scandal

The University of Maryland Has a Burgeoning Chocolate-Milk Concussion Scandal on Its Hands by Jesse Singal

Read the full article here.

[Dr. Rosemarie Scolaro Moser] emphasized to me that it was hard for her to comment on a set of slides rather than a full study, but she did say two concerns leaped out at her. First was the aforementioned issue about the group that did not drink the milk. “Without a peer-reviewed scientifically published paper, I cannot ascertain whether there was a true control group,” she wrote in an email.

There are serious statistical red flags as well. In particular, Moser highlighted the fact that a number of so-called p-values higher than .05 appeared to have been counted as statistically significant indications of FQF’s powers. A p-value basically just indicates how likely it is that an event occurred by chance. In statistics, it’s standard for the cutoff for “significance” to be set at p < .05, which just means there’s a less-than-1-in-20 chance that a result occurred as the result of random noise rather than some meaningful effect. P-values are far from the be–all and end–all of a finding’s strength, but they’re viewed as a vital first step in establishing whether a given relationship is meaningful. “In research, a significant or positive research finding would typically result in p-values at the .05 level or BELOW, to indicate that the finding observed was at greater-than-chance level,” Moser wrote. “So I am confused as to how the authors of this study can claim such positive results, unless there is something I am missing here.”

Source: NY Magazine.

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